Derwin Gray wrote about an email he received. The sender wrote, “I found myself doing something I never thought I would do. I stood near a grocery store asking for money as I recently had a baby 16 weeks ago and lost my job as a waitress. I was about to leave when a young lady walked up to me and said, “There isn’t much I can give you financially, but I can pray with you,” as she handed me a blanket.
I accepted her offer to pray. She prayed that Jesus would provide for me and my baby. I had no clue what any of her prayer meant.” She went on to say, “I’m a mess and don’t belong in church. EVER.” To which the young lady replied, “Well, it’s a good thing that Jesus turns messes into masterpieces!” “She sat with me in the cold sharing how Jesus has transformed her life…. I will NEVER forget this woman and the hope she has given me of having a new life.”
The woman who emailed Derwin was invited to the church he pastored and went. She discovered the woman at the store was just like many others in the church. When she saw Jesus in them, she wanted what they had. It did not take long for her to invite Jesus to be her best friend, savior, and king. What she found outside the store and inside the church was hope, love, and acceptance. These were not people telling others how perfect they were and that they needed to be perfect like them. The author of the email found people messes that through Jesus were turned into masterpieces.
We are all messes. On our own we can do some good. Apprenticing ourselves to Jesus allows us to be part of masterpiece creations!
The purpose of a Christian missionary is to help others begin a relationship with Jesus Christ. They teach about who Jesus is, their personal experiences with Jesus, the good things that happen when Jesus is your savior, and how Jesus turns messes into masterpieces. Also, they teach we “all” begin life as a mess. Jesus is the savior, no one else.
Many students and adults will go on mission trips this summer. They will share Jesus by word, deed, and attitude. Some will travel a few miles to share, while others will go thousands of miles. Some will serve in soup kitchens as others serve in foreign countries. The purpose is the same. Jesus indicated we were to go to places near and far, not just one or the other, when he said, “you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
You may not be called to go on a mission this summer. But all of us are called to be everyday missionaries wherever we are whenever Jesus gives us the opportunity. Jesus provided the opportunity for Philip to share with the Ethiopian eunuch and Peter with Cornelius the centurion. Jesus provided the opportunity for a woman going to the grocery store to share Jesus with someone down on their luck. The lives of those they shared Jesus with were deeply changed. The joy of helping someone connect with Jesus exquisitely exceeds most other experiences in life.
Books may never be written about most everyday missionaries. However, all will hear the Master say to them, “‘Well done, good and faithful servant!…Come and share your master’s happiness!’”